Island trust industry delegation on Mexico mission
A delegation from Bermuda went to Mexico City to make new trust business ties.
The 12-strong group attended a series of targeted meetings as well as the STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) Latin American Conference in Mexico City on September 4 and 5.
One of them, Appleby partner Keith Robinson, was speaking at the event on ‘Migrating Planning Structures’.
The visit to Mexico was spearheaded by the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) together with senior executives representing the banks, trust companies and law firms.
“Meeting with the law firms and speaking at the STEP LatAm conference was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the exceptional depth and quality of Bermuda’s trust industry to what is an important and expanding private wealth market in Mexico, and in Central and South America,” Mr Robinson said.
Mexico is seen as a key growth market by Bermuda, as it is in a region with a growing number of high net-worth individuals.
The tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) signed in 2009 and in effect between the two countries since 2011, strengthened the foundation for business.
According to the BDA, Mexican lawyers said they greatly value Bermuda’s regulatory regime and view the Island as a jurisdiction with a clear rule of law, as well as highly desirable trust privacy protections, tax compliance and an absence of political influence over commercial courts.
The Mexican law firms also gave positive feedback on the recent Trusts (Special Provisions) Amendment Act 2014 that provides certainty to those settlors who wish to reserve powers over a trust or grant them to a third party.
David Goodwin, vice-president of Winchester Global Trust Company Ltd, said: “We were well received by many lawyers and accounting firms, who were impressed by the tools available to meet the specialised needs of their clients.
“They all felt the Bermuda jurisdiction is the gold standard, having a fully developed infrastructure and corporate court for private clients.”
BDA chief executive officer Ross Webber said: “The BDA wishes to thank its entire Latin America Focus Group for representing Bermuda so well, and specifically Eduardo Fox, the group’s leader.
“Eduardo was instrumental in securing meetings with top law firms in Mexico and has consistently served as a strong ambassador for Bermuda. Our services rival and exceed any other top trust jurisdiction.
“The exploration of new markets, diversification of our service offering and the continual development of our product is important to our competitive status. BDA is spearheading such initiatives in order to preserve and grow jobs for Bermudians here in Bermuda.”
Mr Fox said: “The delegation functioned as a cohesive presentation panel to some of the top law firms and tax advisers in Mexico. The team clearly communicated the rationale behind Bermuda’s outstanding reputation for innovation, transparency, regulation and stability. The presentations were a total success in terms of effectively engaging in dialogue with our Mexican friends, and the feedback was tremendously positive.”
The delegation comprised: Clare Spearing, head of operations, BDA; Nicole Conrad Morrison, events manager, BDA; Eduardo Fox, manager, Corporate and Commercial, Trusts and Latin America, Appleby; Keith Robinson, partner, Litigation and Insolvency, Appleby; Ashley Fife, senior associate, Private Client and Trusts, Appleby; Jonathan Dunlop, director of Wealth Planning, HSBC Private Bank, Bermuda Trust Company Ltd; David Goodwin, vice-president, Winchester Global Trust Company Ltd; James Stooke, vice-president, Trust Services, Butterfield Trust (Bermuda) Ltd; Denice Dane, assistant vice-president, trust manager, Trust Services, Butterfield Trust (Bermuda) Ltd; Randall Krebs, owner, Meritus Trust Company Ltd; Paul Finn, EVP, head of Wealth Management, Clarien Bank Ltd; Jose Cabanas, consultant, Clarien Bank Ltd.
Useful website: STEP LatAm at http://www.steplatamconference.com
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